Field Notes

Friday Flora Feature: Bear Grass

July 10, 2020

I fell in love with bear grass in the gorgeous grasslands of the San Rafael Valley, where our Border Wildlife Study cameras were set up this spring. Bear grass punctuates the Southwest landscape at elevations between 2,700 and 6,500 feet as rosettes up to 6 feet wide with long leaf blades and tall flowering stalks called inflorescences that appear in late spring. It grows across a range of habitats, from…
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¡Las primeras imágenes del estudio de fauna fronteriza en México!

July 7, 2020

Naturalia, nuestro socio en México, está colaborando con nosotros en el estudio binacional de fauna fronteriza. Desde marzo de este año, hemos capturado fotos y video las 24 horas, los 7 días de la semana a lo largo de 54 km de la frontera entre México y Estados Unidos. Tenemos 60 cámaras organizadas en siete…
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First Border Wildlife Study Photos from Mexico

Naturalia, our partner in Mexico, is collaborating with us on our binational Border Wildlife Study (BWS). Since early March of this year, we have captured photos and video 24/7 of wildlife along 34 miles of the U.S. – Mexico border. We have 60 cameras organized in seven blocks located within 3 km from the border….
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Flora Feature: Patagonia Mountain Leatherpetal (Graptopetalum Bartramii)

July 3, 2020

For this Friday Flora Feature, we’re exploring a rare herb-succulent found in the Arizona Sky Islands. Commonly called the Patagonia Mountain leatherpetal, Bartram’s stonecrop, or Graptopetalum bartramii Rose, G. bartramii belongs to the Crassulaceae (stonecrop) family. It is native to Arizona and has not been discovered in any other U.S. states or territories.  G. bartramiiis a perennial plant species that naturally grows in…
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¡Conoce a Naturalia! Nuestro socio en las Islas del Cielo de México

July 2, 2020

La conservación de las Islas del Cielo es un esfuerzo binacional que requiere de una multitud de dueños y manejadores de la tierra, científicos, voluntarios, y especialistas en conservación en ambos lados de la frontera. Nosotros colaboramos orgullosamente con Naturalia A.C., una organización sin fines de lucro mexicana que ha jugado uno de los papeles más importantes…
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Meet Naturalia! Our partners in the Sky Islands of Mexico

Sky Island conservation is a binational effort that requires a multitude of land managers, scientists, volunteers, and conservation practitioners on both sides of the border. We proudly collaborate with Naturalia. A.C., a Mexican nonprofit that has played one of the most important and longest roles in the conservation of Mexico´s biodiversity.    Naturalia´s story began back in 1990…
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Relax with a Bathing Badger

July 1, 2020

My personal wildlife watching obsession started at my house near Saguaro National Park last summer with a mysterious paw print I found in a garden water bowl. Wildlife cameras soon confirmed our suspicion that it was an American badger track. While extremely rare in Saguaro National Park, badgers are present in the Sonoran Desert just…
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The Next Generation of Sky Island Leaders

June 30, 2020

Sky Island Alliance is building the next generation of leaders who will study, advocate for, and protect our shared region between the United States and Mexico. During this Coffee Break, we share how our Sister Parks Project in collaboration with the National Park Service led to the creation of a binational internship program for undergraduate…
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Friday Fauna Feature: Border Wildlife Study Pollinators

June 26, 2020

We designed our Border Wildlife Study to detect vertebrate species such as mammals and birds. Surprisingly, we keep finding invertebrates on our cameras and we love the multitude of insects that flit by our cameras. Often they register as blurs of winged blobs and are often hard to identify. All insects are a vital part…
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Waiting for Monsoon Rain – Where to Track the Season

June 24, 2020

With triple digit temperatures here in Tucson, it’s officially time to start waiting, watching, yearning, and hoping for monsoon rains! Sky Island Alliance staff are known to run out of the office into the rain as soon as storms break overhead, and I find myself longing for the smell of rain-soaked creosote bushes as I write this…
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